I was born in St. Louis, but moved to Miami when I was two and have lived in Florida pretty much ever since. I've been working for newspapers in one capacity or another since I was 14 and it is without competition the love of my life. I've been freelancing for several different publications around the state since I finished college, looking for a full-time, salaried position but not really with any urgency because I'm making good money now as a freelancer. So I was caught a little off guard when I got a call from a paper I applied to back in November, one of two dozen or so I applied to at that time and had more or less forgotten about. As it turns out, they offered me a full-time reporting job with great benefits...
in Southern California.
I gave the guy a tentative yes, with plans to move by April 26 (eight days away). I've never been farther west than Kansas City and will be approximately 1700 miles from anyone I know and 3000 miles from the place I've called home pretty much all my life. I'm leaving behind all my friends, a girlfriend of several years, my family and also California I hear is EXPENSIVE. I don't know where I'll be living or how I'm going to make ends meet for the first month (or even how I'm going to afford to get there), which scares me. But the whole thing is pretty exciting.
I applied for my current job after midnight one night while working at my old job far too late. I had no intention of getting this job, it was more of an exploratory search for later on in life. I also booked plane tickets for a vacation here at the same time.
This one time I bought the first condo that I physically went into (but I did a lot of searching on the internet).
There's been quite a few times that my friends and I went somewhere on the spur of the moment on a Friday night. Football Hall of Fame induction, Kentucky Derby, Gettysburg, Philadelphia, Ocean City-Md, Virginia Beach and NASCAR's Cocoa-Cola 600 in North Carolina.
"Oh it's on like Donkey Kong." - Stifler, American Wedding
To be honest, I can't think of any spectacular, life-changing decision that I've come to at the spur of the moment. I'm more the type to run through things in my head forty-seven times first. Not that I'm saying spontaneity is a bad thing.
"Don't do anything I wouldn't do." --Stone Cold Steve Austin
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In the summer of 1980 a good buddy and I saw an ad in the newspaper and the next day jumped on a World Airways $99 one-way flight to London with a backpack and a map of Europe - it was great 6 weeks.....
In the spring of 1984 I flunked out of college and moved to Denver the next day - it was a great 4 years....
Most spontaneous thing - There was a girl I liked, and hadn't seen in a couple years. I got in touch with her on a Wednesday, and found out she was going to Virginia for a holiday weekend that coming weekend. So, I took a day off work that Friday, and drove down from Cleveland to Virginia to meet her. That was really a fun trip, and the first time I had really ever done anything like that. Just a feeling of freedom to be able to pick up and go like that.
A close second is when the Red Sox won the World Series. I was talking to my wife about the victory party/parade they were going to have the next day. She suggested that I should go. So, that Friday night I flew out to Boston, and went to the parade on Saturday. WHAT A PARTY! Sunday evening I flew back home. Best part was that I had enough frequent flyer, driver, and parking points built up that the whole trip was virtually free!
A few years back while home for a winter break, at 11pm I got a call from my girlfriend at the time who had just gone through a pretty tramatic experience. So I jumped in my car immediately and was at her house by 4am. I had to climb through a window because she didn't believe me when I said I was coming, and didn't leave the door unlocked. I stayed the night and most of the next day, when I drove back home and arrived around 11pm. That was a crazy 24 hours.
I also never look at menus before I order food at restaurants. The waiter/waitress comes to the table, and I open it up and pick the first thing I see that I might want.
HBK: Youíre flat broke arenít you? MJ: Please let me wrestle on RAW! HBK: Fine, but I ainít weariní no fruity tassels. MJ: Are these your mirror pants? HBK: Give me those!
My friend Tom and I got bored at about two a.m. one morning and drove to New Orleans, getting in by six. We had coffee and beignets for breakfast, then did the tourist thing around the city until about one in the afternoon. Then we drove home.
I also drove round-trip, 12 hours, starting at about one a.m. one morning. My then-girlfriend and I had been having a rough patch at the time, and I realized, "I'm an idiot; this is probably my fault. I need to fix this." I'd bought her a really beautiful diamond pendant earlier in the year, but held off giving it to her because of the rough patch. I suppose you could say that I had an epiphany. I'd left the necklace at my mother's house, because I'd been moving around at the time and not really living in the best of places. So I drove home, got it, drove back to Sarasota, met the girl in question, gave her the necklace, told her that, if she wanted it, there was a matching ring for it. Three years later, we got married.
I hardly think YOU are qualified to cast aspersions on one's choice of communities in which to live, Shep.
Is that a reference to all the Duck fans that I live around or the damned hippies? And I've only been to Tillamook once to play a high school football playoff game. I believe the high school is out further near the fields, so no I'm probly not qualified to say much about the town, and I'm lactose intolerant so I can't say much about the cheese either.
Apparently there was a part two to my b-day. My brother couldn't make it to my 30th party and paid for an afternoon out paint-balling. He got me a top of the line marker, mask, CO2 tank, electric hopper and 2000 paint-balls. It was fun, but I am sore....